Wednesday, March 26, 2014


We know that there are really high draft rates of Ethiopian-Israelis to enlist for Army service. It’s actually even higher than among the general population (about 86% to 75% for men). But there aren’t enough role models for Ethiopian-Israelis, there are lots of cultural and structural obstacles to success and some major challenges:
Some of it starts during the draft and induction process -  there’s still some clearly culturally biased testing and low quality classification ratings. Many of the new recruits have low rates of high school matriculation (35-40%) compared to the general population, they may have more complex family and socioeconomic backgrounds too. Usually they’re not as prepared for army service.

About 53% of Ethiopian-Israelis end up at some point incarcerated in army jails. Just think about that statistic for a moment. That’s ten times higher than their actual proportion in the population. For women, 10% of Ethiopian-Israeli female soldiers are incarcerated in army jails – that’s actually a decrease over the past few years. But it’s still three times higher than that of the general female population incarcerated in army jails (3.3%).

Why do they get sent to jail? Three main reasons:
Desertion (עריקות)
Absenteeism (נפקדות)
Lack of Discipline (אי-משמעת)

And all of these are preventable. Frequently they come from miscommunication, misunderstandings, and cultural gaps. We have to work to overcome them. And we have a plan to do it. More on this shortly.

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